Boeing said Emirates has placed an order for two 777 Freighters at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, expanding the future capability of the cargo airlines at a time of significant global demand for air freight.
In a statement, the American planemaker said the freighters will be operated by Emirates SkyCargo, which currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 10 B-777 freighters and also carries cargo on Emirates' 134 777 passenger airplanes.
The orders were valued at more than US$704 million at list prices.
"Emirates plays a key role in making essential goods available to customers and consumers globally through the capacity available on our widebody fleet, the reach of our global network and the advanced infrastructure at our Dubai hub," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group.
US$1B to expand freighter capacity
"We are delighted to announce an investment of US$1 billion to further expand our freighter capacity. This underscores our commitment to supporting our customers' requirements, and reflects our confidence in our future growth and status as one of the largest airline cargo carriers in the world," the Emirates chief added.
The 777 Freighter – Boeing's best-selling freighter of all time – is the world's largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter.
The planemaker noted that the airplane reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by 17% compared to legacy airplanes and has a range of 9,200 kilometers.
It can also carry a maximum revenue payload of 102,000 kilograms, allowing airlines to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.
"We are honored that Emirates has once again placed its confidence in the 777 Freighter as the backbone of its global network," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.
"As the largest operator of 777 passenger and freighter models worldwide, Emirates' success is a testament to the 777's market-leading efficiency, improved sustainability and incredible range."
Boeing noted that more than 300 777 Freighters have been ordered since 2005, including 38 orders this year, tied to sustained demand for air cargo including expanding e-commerce.
According to the planemaker's 2021 Commercial Market Outlook, it sees increased demand for dedicated freighters, including new and converted models.
By 2040, it forecasts the global freighter fleet will be 70% larger compared with the pre-pandemic fleet, with the Middle East freighter fleet growing by 87%.